Speed Breakthrough

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Malcolm
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Speed Breakthrough

Post by Malcolm » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:27 am

After practicing 3 octave scales (G maj, E maj, and E Melodic min) for several weeks, today I suddenly found that I could play them faster than has been possible before.

They are still not fluent (I'm working on it) and still not up to my bass playing speed from 30 years ago, but, right now, I'm feeling very pleased because it is a major breakthrough, in fact, it's almost an epiphany! :shock:

However, a question!

The Australian Music Examinations Board Grade 7 syllabus requires these scales in several different ways. Crochets are required to be played at 160 bpm, no problem whatsoever, but triplets are required to be at 110 bpm. Although that is my aim, that does seem rather quick when compared with quavers at 160 bpm.

The AMEB books do contain numerous typos so I'm wondering if this is just another one.

Any comments?

Cheers,
Malcolm
When I was ten, I thought my parents knew everything. When I became twenty, I was convinced they knew nothing. Then, at thirty, I realized I was right when I was ten.

Mark Twain

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guitarrista
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Re: Speed Breakthrough

Post by guitarrista » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:12 pm

People have complained before that AMEB seems to have more difficult requirements for scales compared to all others - more scales and at faster speed.

When you say crochets at 160bpm, is it two strokes per metronome click? So 2x160 vs. 3x110 for triplets? If so, this does not seem that different as a speed requirement - 2x160 is 320 strokes/min, and 3x110 is 330 strokes/min - so the same as 2x165 (vs. 2x160). Maybe it is more psychological if you feel a big difference?
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

Malcolm
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Re: Speed Breakthrough

Post by Malcolm » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:31 pm

guitarrista wrote: When you say crochets at 160bpm, is it two strokes per metronome click? So 2x160 vs. 3x110 for triplets? If so, this does not seem that different as a speed requirement - 2x160 is 320 strokes/min, and 3x110 is 330 strokes/min - so the same as 2x165 (vs. 2x160). Maybe it is more psychological if you feel a big difference?
I'm assuming it's one note per metronome click but maybe that's wrong. I'll check with my teacher on Friday. If that is right though that does make a considerable difference.

Cheers,
Malcolm
When I was ten, I thought my parents knew everything. When I became twenty, I was convinced they knew nothing. Then, at thirty, I realized I was right when I was ten.

Mark Twain

2handband
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Re: Speed Breakthrough

Post by 2handband » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:02 am

Sorry guys but what the hell is a crochet?

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guitarrista
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Re: Speed Breakthrough

Post by guitarrista » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:19 am

2handband wrote:Sorry guys but what the hell is a crochet?
A quarter note. Thank the damn Brits :-)
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Konstantin
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2handband
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Re: Speed Breakthrough

Post by 2handband » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:42 am

Haha thanks. I'm grateful that living in the US means never having to say hemidemisemiquaver...

Steve Langham
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Re: Speed Breakthrough

Post by Steve Langham » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:42 am

Brits and Australians use this crotchet/quaver nomenclature. Does anyone else in the World or is that it?
Who wouldn't want to say hemidemisemiquaver, it brings a smile to my face just saying it!

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zupfgeiger
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Re: Speed Breakthrough

Post by zupfgeiger » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:50 am

Malcolm wrote:After practicing 3 octave scales (G maj, E maj, and E Melodic min) for several weeks, today I suddenly found that I could play them faster than has been possible before.
I don't see the point in playing scales as fast as possible if you don't play them fluently. Playing scales is not about speed in first instance, but about learning to shift, to play legato and to get acquainted with different keys on the fretboard. Playing scales at a slow tempo is much more efficient and sometimes more difficult than shredding your major and minor scales.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started (Mark Twain)

Tobias Braun, Santos copy, spruce/yew, 2017
Andrea Tacchi, Enrique Garcia model, Spruce/BRAZ, 2016
Giovanni Tacchi, Daniel Friederich copy, cedar/EIR, 2017
Alain Raifort, cedar/EIR, 2004

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Speed Breakthrough

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:44 am

zupfgeiger wrote:I don't see the point in playing scales as fast as possible if you don't play them fluently. Playing scales is not about speed in first instance, but about learning to shift, to play legato and to get acquainted with different keys on the fretboard. Playing scales at a slow tempo is much more efficient and sometimes more difficult than shredding your major and minor scales.
Left hand shifts at slow tempos require exactly the same movement speed as that at faster tempos if you want to achieve the illusion of legato. Improvement in fast scale technique will also improve one's legato playing in general if approached with this in mind.

Same thing for right hand finger movement - a finger needs to come off the string just as fast when playing slowly - simply greater duration between activity that's all.

The two feed off each other - slow scale work with close attention to coordinated left and right hand movements improves facility at higher speed. High speed practice trains us for fast movement (of either hand) at the end of each note duration at a lower tempo.

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zupfgeiger
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Re: Speed Breakthrough

Post by zupfgeiger » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:55 am

My critical point is that Malcom admitted to be not yet fluent with scales at high speed. In this situation my gut feeling would tell me to slow down and work on the accurate execution of my scales before speeding up.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started (Mark Twain)

Tobias Braun, Santos copy, spruce/yew, 2017
Andrea Tacchi, Enrique Garcia model, Spruce/BRAZ, 2016
Giovanni Tacchi, Daniel Friederich copy, cedar/EIR, 2017
Alain Raifort, cedar/EIR, 2004

Salvador
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Re: Speed Breakthrough

Post by Salvador » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:03 pm

In practicing scales and increasing the tempo, it's normal that it won't be fluent at first. But with practice and patience you will get it. That's how to improve speed. if you play scales at a slow tempo, there's no benefit from it, in terms of speed. You have to challenge your fingers to play fast. Just like playing difficult pieces will also improve you skill.

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guitarrista
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Re: Speed Breakthrough

Post by guitarrista » Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:07 pm

zupfgeiger wrote:My critical point is that Malcom admitted to be not yet fluent with scales at high speed. In this situation my gut feeling would tell me to slow down and work on the accurate execution of my scales before speeding up.
Well I am very happy that Malcolm decided to post about his joy of progressing along a difficult task. We need more of that, not less. The guitar being what it is, it is so hard sometimes to keep going on, and posts like Malcolm's bring a smile to my face and encourage me in my own journey. So I am thankful for that and would encourage more people to share about similar small victories.
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

Malcolm
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Re: Speed Breakthrough

Post by Malcolm » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:10 am

guitarrista wrote:
zupfgeiger wrote:My critical point is that Malcom admitted to be not yet fluent with scales at high speed. In this situation my gut feeling would tell me to slow down and work on the accurate execution of my scales before speeding up.
Well I am very happy that Malcolm decided to post about his joy of progressing along a difficult task. We need more of that, not less. The guitar being what it is, it is so hard sometimes to keep going on, and posts like Malcolm's bring a smile to my face and encourage me in my own journey. So I am thankful for that and would encourage more people to share about similar small victories.
Thanks for your edit :) although I have to confess I've been called far worse than Michael, none of which can be repeated in this forum. :shock:

Cheers,
Malcolm
When I was ten, I thought my parents knew everything. When I became twenty, I was convinced they knew nothing. Then, at thirty, I realized I was right when I was ten.

Mark Twain

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guitarrista
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Re: Speed Breakthrough

Post by guitarrista » Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:05 am

ah.. unfortunately you saw the previous version.. sorry about that.. I can't believe I made such an idiotic mistake :oops:
Konstantin
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zupfgeiger
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Re: Speed Breakthrough

Post by zupfgeiger » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:18 am

Maybe there is a missunderstanding here. My purpose was not at all to intimidate Malcom. I am happy with everyone who his making progress with the guitar and is posting positive reviews on this forum. But a critical remark should be allowed. What I am learning from my teachers is to slow down, if fluent execution is not yet achieved, be it a piece or a scale. Maybe those guys are a bit old fashioned but I will stick to their rule because it seems logical for me and it brought me forward with my technique. That has nothing to do with a personal insult as indicated above.

Edit: Just opened another thread about 10 practice rules of violinist Maud Powell. Rule III: Practice scales religiously. Play them slowly and with perfect evenness, both as to fingering and bowing.

Maud Powel died more than 80 years ago but I think her advice is still valid, not only for violinists.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started (Mark Twain)

Tobias Braun, Santos copy, spruce/yew, 2017
Andrea Tacchi, Enrique Garcia model, Spruce/BRAZ, 2016
Giovanni Tacchi, Daniel Friederich copy, cedar/EIR, 2017
Alain Raifort, cedar/EIR, 2004

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